Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Creating your own e-book

Hump day seems to be one my busiest at the moment so I have decided not to have a regular writing segment on Wednesdays. I will still continue on with Ruby Rose but only when the whim arises, and perhaps not every week. The main thing is I don't want to feel pressured (by myself, which is normal) to produce something mid week if life is just too darn busy. We are having a property boom in Gympie and I have so many houses to settle before Christmas...then I get two weeks off. Yippee!!

This week I do want to tell you about the E Publishing course I attended on Sunday. It was organised by a lady in our writer's group who arranged for Mike Clancy, as TAFE lecturer from the Gold Coast, to teach us how to produce our own E-Books. I must say that the course really opened my eyes. I thought it would be a long and involved process but Mike stepped us through what is actually a pretty straightforward procedure utilising free software that anyone can access.

The hardest part of the whole process is understanding all of the different e-book formats available, so I would suggest that if you want know all about it visit Mike Clancy's site The Creative Genie. You can purchase the "Introduction to Electronic Publishing" book which is what Mike went through in the course.

PDF Version $4.95
For less than $5 you will learn all you need to know to convert your word document into an e-book. We focussed mostly on e-pub and pdf formats during the course but the program Mike supplied the link to called Calibre will convert your e-book into many formats ie. for Kindle, I-Pad or Generic readers.

Basically, all you have to do is format your word document to remove all page breaks, extra lines and unnecessary spaces, and correctly format your headings and sub headings. You then choose what format you want (ie. mobi if you have a kindle) and then convert it. You will then be able to look at it in e-reader view to see how it looks. I was very impressed with my result although I must confess....I don't even own a kindle or e-reader! But it is on my Xmas wish list.

If you live on the Gold Coast Mike does his one-day courses at the TAFE campus and you can contact him for a quote if you wish to arrange a course elsewhere in Queensland. The following is an outline from Mike's site of what his E-Publishing course (and the booklet) covers:

Morning Session

Topic 1: Using electronic media
·         The evolution of electronic media
·         The difference between electronic and desktop publishing
·         Popular formats for publication
·         Static and dynamic publication formats
·         Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Topic 2: eBook readers
·         Choosing an eBook reader
·         Commonly used eBook readers you can download from the Internet
·         How different publication formats are handled by eBook readers
·         Sources of free eBooks you can download
Topic 3: Constructing an eBook manuscript
·         Choosing an output format that meets your needs
·         Understanding the different formats available
·         Creating a template in Word or in Pages
·         Developing your eBook manuscript
Afternoon Session

Topic 4: Final preparation of your eBook manuscript
·         Preparing your front and back end matter
·         Placing objects––inline and floating objects
·         Setting document properties and meta data
·         Cataloguing your publication
·         Requirements for legal deposit
Topic 5: Creating your eBook
·         Understanding your publication options
·         Setting security options for your eBook
·         HTML and XML options
·         Using iBooks Author to create professional eBooks for tablets and smartphones
·         Creating an eBook using Flip PDF
·         Creating an eBook using Calibre software
Topic 6: Distribution and marketing
·         Options for distribution
·         Advantages and pitfalls of the self-publishing route
·         Options for using online bookstores
·         Some tips for marketing your eBook

So, if you are like me and want to learn how to do most things for yourself, and have thought about wanting to create an e-book, then Mike Clancy is a great place to start...and he is a really nice bloke, otherwise I would not be posting this. I imagine you can also find out this information via Google, especially tutorials on how to use Calibre.

Do you have an E-Reader? If so, should I get a Kindle or something else?

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